Rosalía (Post-Flamenco Art-Pop From Spain)

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

I just stumbled across this woman's work this week, and am blown away. Her first album, Los Ángeles, was kind of avant-flamenco, but very stripped-down and raw, with lots of songs about death; it was almost Chelsea Wolfe-ish at times. Her upcoming album, El Mal Querer, is a little more poppy/conventional, but it still uses the handclapping flamenco rhythm rather than standard beats, and the visuals (which are also all hers) are fantastic.

First video - "Malamente":

Second video - "Pienso en Tu Mirá":

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 25 July 2018 13:47 (ten months ago) Permalink

it's been a while since i was this amazed by every aspect of an artist's work on first impression like this, both those songs and videos are so good and the flamenco rhythms rule so much

ufo, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:19 (ten months ago) Permalink

visuals good but the first thing sounds *exactly* like what i'd imagine if someone said 'minimal flamenco pop' to me, it's a snooze

second song has more going on, especially rhythmically, but it still sounds like all the breathy moody pop ever

imago, Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:29 (ten months ago) Permalink

You might like her first album better:

I like both.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 25 July 2018 14:41 (ten months ago) Permalink

"Pienso en Tu Mirá" is astounding – a bit more info here:



Mentioned here, Rosalía will be acting in Pedro Almodóvar's new film. She's also appeared on this track by J Balvin, "Brillo" -

sbahnhof, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 06:49 (nine months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

album is out November 2nd

“El Mal Querer” sale el 2 de noviembre 😱😱😱😱
Droppin my new album on nov 2nd ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

— R O S A L Í A (@rosaliavt) September 13, 2018

Capitulo 1 AUGURIO - Malamente
Capitulo 2 BODA - Que no salga la luna
Capitulo 3 CELOS - Pienso en tu mirá
Capitulo 4 DISPUTA - De aquí no sales
Capitulo 5 LAMENTO - Reniego
Capitulo 6 CLAUSURA - Preso
Capitulo 7 LITURGIA - Bagdad
Capitulo 8 EXTASIS - Di mi nombre
Capitulo 9 CONCEPCIÓN - Nana
Capitulo 10 CORDURA - Maldición
Capitulo 11 PODER - A ningún hombre

ufo, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 17:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

Philip Sherburne has a nice profile & interview w/her today:

rob, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 18:40 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm definitely curious about the album--the newer tracks are so different from the prev album. Like unperson I'm into both approaches but not 100% sure I want to hear handclaps on every track.

rob, Tuesday, 18 September 2018 18:43 (eight months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

new video out:

rob, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:21 (six months ago) Permalink

lovely bass on that one

rob, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:25 (six months ago) Permalink

I don't love the new video as much as the two before it, but I'm still really excited for the album. And the video is kinda Halloween-worthy, in a way - those creepy backup dancers appear out of nowhere.

grawlix (unperson), Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:25 (six months ago) Permalink

yeah I just watched Malamente again and this video is nowhere near that level. I like the autotune on the chorus (?), feels like a quick leap over the Mediterranean

rob, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 15:28 (six months ago) Permalink

I love all the songs and videos and am really excited for the album to come out tomorrow.

I know she's the subject of significant controversy in Spain given her use of flamenco and Andalusian tropes generally as a woman from Catalonia. Are there any Spanish ILXors that can shed any further light on this? I've seen stuff on social media and other forums about it but there's not any English-language writing about it yet as far as I'm aware.

monotony, Wednesday, 31 October 2018 22:31 (six months ago) Permalink

Listening to the new album now. It's pretty amazing.

US Spotify link

grawlix (unperson), Friday, 2 November 2018 14:01 (six months ago) Permalink

really great on first listen. less poppy than I was expecting in some ways. every time I wasn't sure about a track it would swerve in some other, unexpected direction.

I feel like people into stuff like Kelela or FKA Twigs would be into this, though to my taste the amount of space given to the vocals on this is more appealing

rob, Friday, 2 November 2018 14:42 (six months ago) Permalink

Interesting work of fusion. I like it as it is, Bagdad for example. Agree that Pienso en tu mirá is astounding.
I'm sure to check her next.

Nabozo, Monday, 5 November 2018 09:14 (six months ago) Permalink

album is a bit underwhelming, not as poppy as the singles yeah so what I loved about those doesn't come through as strongly on the rest of the album. the Cry Me A River interpolation on Bagdad is kinda jarring too

ufo, Monday, 5 November 2018 09:18 (six months ago) Permalink

Pienso en tu Mira is so gorgeous.

chap, Monday, 5 November 2018 11:26 (six months ago) Permalink

The album is a lot more meditative than the singles suggested - I still find it very beautiful though, and I'm not too concerned about its failure to, outside the singles, lean into pop tropes, as she's apparently made a bunch of songs (some of which she's already playing live) with producers like Pharrell and a guy that did some stuff on the Cardi B album. I suspect her label will want to capitalise quickly on all this - the streaming numbers are enormous in Spain - and release a second album or EP sometime next year.

She also went all-out Rhythm Nation on this EMA performance which to me seems like more evidence that she's a burgeoning superstar:

Pitchfork gave a glowing review of the album today as well.

monotony, Thursday, 8 November 2018 06:29 (six months ago) Permalink

Just shows how flexible these songs are. Compare to this performance:

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 10:52 (six months ago) Permalink

The Guardian also gave the album 5 stars last week.

brain (krakow), Thursday, 8 November 2018 12:28 (six months ago) Permalink

Hearing the crowd sing along at that MTV performance was really something.

grawlix (unperson), Thursday, 8 November 2018 13:21 (six months ago) Permalink

The Cry Me A River sample I think works in that it's so incongruous especially in a song that develops into faux-liturgical counterpoint. I wish I understood the words so I had more of a sense of what she was getting at there.

I know nothing about flamenco but this record is great. If she becomes huge I'm more interested in what mainstream pop can co-opt from her rather than the other way round. The way those handclaps just pop amid all the digital production is consistently fantastic.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 November 2018 13:28 (six months ago) Permalink

I don't truly speak Spanish but I can give it a go.

Y se va a quemar, si sigue ahí / And it will burn, if it continues like this
Las llamas van al cielo a morir / The flames rise to die in the sky
Ya no hay nadie más por ahí / There is nobody left around here
No hay nadie más, senta'íta dando palmas / There is nobody anymore, sit (?) and clap your hands

Por la noche, la sali'a del Bagdad / In the night, the exit (?) of Bagdad
Pelo negro, ojos oscuros / Black hair, dark eyes
Bonita pero apena' / Beautiful but only...
Senta'ita, cabizbaja dando palmas / Sit (?), head bent clapping hands
Mientras a su alrededor / While around her
Pasaban, la miraban / They pass, look at her
La miraban sin ver na' / They look at her without seeing anything
Solita en el infierno / She's alone in hell
En el infierno está atrapa' / In hell she's stuck
Senta'íta, las manos las juntaba / Sitting (?), she put her hands together
Que al compás por bulerías / To the rhythm of Bulerías
Parecía que rezaba / She seemed to pray

Junta las palmas y las separa / She joins her hands and separates them

De las luces / From the lights
Sale un ángel que cayó / Comes out an angel who fell
Tiene una marca en el alma / He's got a mark in his soul
Pero ella no se la vio / But she hasn't seen it
Senta'ita, al cielo quie' rezarle / Sit (?), in the sky who prays to him/her (?)
Prenda'ita de sus males / Ignited by her vices
Que Dios tendrá que cobrarle / So that God will have to cover her

not sure about all of it obviously

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 14:43 (six months ago) Permalink

woes, rather than vices

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 14:46 (six months ago) Permalink

Actually, she's probably the one burning (first line). Maybe it's an execution.

Nabozo, Thursday, 8 November 2018 14:50 (six months ago) Permalink

There's a hefty interpolation of Jolene in one song as well.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 November 2018 15:01 (six months ago) Permalink

It took a couple listens to fix my malamente expectations, but this album is astonishingly good! I can't even isolate favored songs at this point. I can see why monotony called it "meditative" (as opposed to "banging" I think?), but it can also be quite dramatic in what I assume is a traditional flamenco vein, as on Reniego.

To Matt's point, I would love to see the consistently striking way the production handles acoustic space and vocal/sound arrangement catch on elsewhere. I thought JES's pitchfork review was v good--the "global bass" framing struck me as odd at first but thinking of this as a rooted-in-the-local antidote to generic pan-global trop-house is interesting.

rob, Thursday, 8 November 2018 15:10 (six months ago) Permalink

A lot of pan-global trop-house/Spotify pop has a tendency to fill up every single available bit of space, this uses a not dissimilar sound palette in a much more imaginative way.

Matt DC, Thursday, 8 November 2018 15:14 (six months ago) Permalink

❤️”Di Mi Nombre”❤️

breastcrawl, Friday, 9 November 2018 12:42 (six months ago) Permalink

I know she's the subject of significant controversy in Spain given her use of flamenco and Andalusian tropes generally as a woman from Catalonia.

These seem to cover it pretty well, re: Gypsy culture and Andalusian culture:



The original articles were on El Español and I can't speak much Spanish, but the translation reads OK, apart from google often printing 'she' as 'he'.

A couple of quotes:

"The Gypsy activist Noelia Cortés believes that Rosalia 'uses the Gypsies as something cool to incorporate into her disguise, but she does not care socially' [no le importamos socialmente hablando]." – (El Español)

"Rosalía's own roots offer another complex variable to analyze appropriation: the Castilian-speaking culture of the Baix Llobregat [in the province of Barcelona], composed mostly of second and third generations of immigrants from Andalusia, Murcia or Extremadura, has certain affinities with that of their ancestors, whether on a musical level or in some dialectal aspects. The same happens with tracksuits or car tuning: they are characteristic elements of the poligonera culture, so associated with the Barcelona red belt.

"What the controversy reveals, in any case, is the penetration of the identity debate and theories about racial identities and historical discriminations in Spain. And also the complexity and subtlety of many readings about the cultural products that will come in the future." – (

sbahnhof, Friday, 9 November 2018 22:05 (six months ago) Permalink

During the controversy earlier this year, she posted a playlist of flamenco songs that comprise the lyrics and melodies on the Los Ángeles album.

Aqui va esta playlist como regalo de reyes, donde podréis encontrar de donde aprendí los cantes que aparecen en Los Ángeles, con las letras y melodías que componen el disco. Que la disfrutéis!!🎁✨☺

— R O S A L Í A (@rosaliavt) January 4, 2018

"Malamente" won a UK Video Music Award for best pop video.

sbahnhof, Friday, 9 November 2018 22:30 (six months ago) Permalink

this is not my fav album of a payo ex/appropriating flamenco this year. the relationship between gitano culture and spanish culture is more interesting to me than this music, which leans hard on these signifiers. the magnet article has the sort of weaselly equivocation I've seen before on this topic


The theoretical appropriation of Rosalia works and works well at the narrative level when the intent is directed towards the gypsy culture: the ethnic group has been socially and legally persecuted for five centuries, and although today there is no formal discrimination, the gypsies still live apart in many ways. cities and in permanent social exclusion. It is probably the only Spanish historical case to which the American racial narrative fits.


ogmor, Friday, 9 November 2018 23:28 (six months ago) Permalink

the relationship between gitano culture and spanish culture is more interesting to me than this music, which leans hard on these signifiers

What did you think of Mala Rodriguez's last single/video? (She actually is gitana.)

grawlix (unperson), Saturday, 10 November 2018 01:08 (six months ago) Permalink

this is a good album

j., Saturday, 10 November 2018 02:51 (six months ago) Permalink

I like her singing and prefer the intensity & energy of that track to the cooler detachment of rosalia. as per matt dc, the way the claps work with the glossier sound are what's most striking to me about rosalia, & I wld imagine other ppl will lift that trick

ogmor, Monday, 12 November 2018 10:28 (six months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

i love this album but man i'm so excited for her to drop her new shit

monotony, Monday, 3 December 2018 11:30 (five months ago) Permalink

as if to further illustrate this ^ - new video for "bagdad" features a bit of "lo presiento" at the beginning

monotony, Wednesday, 5 December 2018 11:00 (five months ago) Permalink

This review (from The Nation, of all places) was very interesting to me because I usually don't pay attention to lyrics, but the author makes it clear how crucial they are to this album:

grawlix (unperson), Tuesday, 18 December 2018 13:01 (five months ago) Permalink

Missed this thread; discovered her (2) albums via end-of-year lists. Absolutely love them... her voice!

underqualified backing vocalist (morrisp), Tuesday, 18 December 2018 19:27 (five months ago) Permalink

Way into both of these albums as well.

... (Eazy), Friday, 28 December 2018 05:39 (four months ago) Permalink

Entertaining and slightly nerdy analysis.

octobeard, Monday, 31 December 2018 18:06 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

I'm updating the thread for no other reason than I still enjoy checking her different performances so much. Maybe I'm crazy but I still feel like she has this spectrum of moods that each of her songs works with and that make me scream art.
Someone tell how I left out this song from my top25, oh yes, it's partly because of the others.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 21:39 (four months ago) Permalink

Also she said she'd love to collab with Dua Lipa and that'd be ultimate sexiness, so fingers crossed.

Nabozo, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 21:41 (four months ago) Permalink

“Di Mi Nombre” is still my favorite of hers.

breastcrawl, Wednesday, 16 January 2019 22:00 (four months ago) Permalink

This is cool, first time I've seen a vid of her performing. I'm so into El Mal Querer

i stan corrected (morrisp), Wednesday, 16 January 2019 23:09 (four months ago) Permalink

she's going to be on the james blake album out tomorrow

monotony, Thursday, 17 January 2019 06:44 (four months ago) Permalink

And since you mentioned it. We hear her first, as we should. I'm not familiar with James Blake, but he makes me think of Anthony. Nice duo.

Nabozo, Saturday, 19 January 2019 21:17 (four months ago) Permalink

Delicious actually. And incredible delicate performance. Her parts (my amateur translation):

Agujerito del cielo - Little hole in the sky
Cuelando el brillo de Dios - letting in the brilliance of God
Un rayo cayó en tus ojo' - a beam struck your eye
Y me partió el corazón - and split my heart
Agujerito del cielo - Little hole in the sky
Díctame por dónde ir - instruct me where to go
Para yo no equivocarme - so that I do not get it wrong
Y así ver mi porvenir - and thus see my future

Ya tengo to' lo que quiero - I already have al' that I desire
Ya no puedo pedir má' - I cannot ask for mo'
Cuando te tengo a mi la'o - When I have you by my sid'
Lo pasa'o se queda atrá' - The pas' is left behin'
Si te apartan de mi vera - If they separate me from your side
Y te tuviera que encontrar - And if I had to find you
Hasta allá te encontraría - I would find you up there
Como el río va a la mar - As the river goes to the sea

Nabozo, Saturday, 19 January 2019 22:06 (four months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

new collab with J Balvin

I definitely prefer "Brillo," their collab from the J Balvin album, but it's always fascinating to hear Rosalia in the context of club music.

Neus Anneus (voodoo chili), Thursday, 28 March 2019 17:32 (one month ago) Permalink

Grabbed a ticket for her SF show. Sold out in in less than a few hours last week.

octobeard, Sunday, 31 March 2019 03:00 (one month ago) Permalink

Just a short North America tour this time-- West Coast plus NYC and 1 Canada show

Need to listen to "Brillo" again, think I recall liking it. x-post

curmudgeon, Sunday, 31 March 2019 18:16 (one month ago) Permalink

I don't think there's anything "fascinating" about it. Rosalía's own music is fascinating. This is generic bullshit - literally any female voice could have been punched into that track. Ugh.

(I hate J Balvin's music in general, though.)

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 31 March 2019 19:51 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, same reaction here.

... (Eazy), Sunday, 31 March 2019 20:33 (one month ago) Permalink

anyway, here she performs Con Altura live (along with "El Presiento)

she's a huge pop star--she's gonna do pop tracks. obviously her own stuff is gonna be more interesting than her collabs, but i do think she adds some stuff that generic singer x would not, like how she subtly subverts the synth melody in the pre-chorus.

Neus Anneus (voodoo chili), Monday, 1 April 2019 21:22 (one month ago) Permalink

ugh i mentioned this upthread but i am very very thirsty for "el presiento", "aute couture / esto esto enciendo", "santeria" and all these other unreleased songs she's teased live

the new song is fun, not her best ever obviously but if it turns out to be a hit i'm all for it

monotony, Tuesday, 2 April 2019 00:15 (one month ago) Permalink

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.